The Beatles are the 'the queen mothers of pop' says our man
The Beatles are the ‘the queen mothers of pop’ says our man

OK, I love the Beatles as much as the next monkey but this slavering excitement over the 50th anniversary of their debut Love Me Do single is making me feel a tad uncomfortable.

The Beatles and the BBC go together like milk and tea, a very milky tea with a nice biscuit at that.

It’s so comfy, like a snug old cardigan or a pint of warm real ale that is seems custom made for 6music or the BBC of Jools Holland’s plonking piano- a warm comfy world a million mies away from the visceral thrill of the rock n roll that inspired the Beatles in the first place.

Of course they made great records and of course they were important but they have been turned into the Queen Mother of pop- safe, cuddly and wheeled out for anniversaries and special events- the great untouchables with their loveable mop tops and thumbs aloft goofiness- like the eternal dancing puppets. John Lennon will be rolling in his grave.

The same old facts are dusted down about their mass popularity whilst everyone conveniently forgets that they only have two albums in the all time top 50 best sellers- a long way behind even the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and way, way behind the number two all time best seller AC/DC and the number one of Michael Jackson and when was the last time you saw the media luvvies do a documentary on AC/DC? is that because they have been written out of our cultural history despite being more popular than the Beatles and also having a huge cultural impact.

I don’t hate the Beatles, far from it, but this warm glow that they are presented in is beginning to bore me and this constant rewriting of pop culture by plump dullards in cosy cardigans presenting Beatle hours on the TV is turning pop culture into something it never was- boring.

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  1. How can you compare the one dimensional music of the Chilli’s and ACDC to immense diversity of The Beatles back catalogue. Both are good bands but there music is hardly revolutionary.
    You could at least try to name check bands that were original, influential and diverse
    ala Led Zepplin, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Nirvana

  2. The RHCP were far from one dimensional, amazing band! John Frusciante is a genius in my eyes!

    And agree with the original post, the Beatles have become so safe now, partly due to Paul McCartney’s routinely appearing at Royal Family events.

  3. I’m not a great fan of the Beatles but can appreciate their undeniable influence. And when have record sales always equated to good music?

    Doesn’t what you say about the Beatles relate to punk? Never really a chart-bothering genre but oh so massively influential (although I do get the bit about being wheeled out every 5th anniversary!)

  4. What utter bilge. They may only have two albums in the top 50 best-selling albums of all time, but they’ve also shifted more units than any other musical act in history with certified sales of 250 million and estaimated sales of 1 billion.

    In terms of their being “wheeled out for anniversaries and special events”, that’s a simple reflection of the accessibility of much of their music. They’re one of the few rock acts that can appeal to kids, teenagers, people in middle-age, and the elderly. In any case, as Britian’s most successful act of all time, it’s hardly surprising if the remaining members and their music are a draw for such events.

    No other band has come close to acheiving what they acheived and it’s highly unlikely anyone ever will. The variety and breadth of their music, their ability to combine populism with experimentaion, the speed of their development as musicians and songwriters, in combination with the era they existed and the social changes that occured during that time to create a band the like of which the world will probably never see again.

    I think Danny Baker probably put it best when he said “I’m one of those people who think the Beatles haven’t been lauded enough. It will take 100 years before people go, ‘Whoah, that was an extraordinary step forward for not just music but world culture.'”. I doubt anyone will ever say that about The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd or Nirvana (or The Boo Radleys!). The Beatles exist in a different universe to any of these bands. To even try to compare them is akin to discussing the artistic merits of Michaelangelo against those of Banksy.

  5. In all my years I’ve failed completely to understand why The Beatles are held in such reverence.
    In my opinion, they were over-rated, dull and their remaining legacy leaves me cold.


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